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Gun Convict Loses SCOTUS Case, Avoiding Trump Pardon Effect

June 17, 2019, 2:22 PM

An Alabama gun convict just lost a double jeopardy case that’s received more attention for its potential effect on Trump pardons and the Mueller probe.

The justices ruled against Terance Gamble, who claimed his prosecution for gun offenses on both the state and federal level violated the Double Jeopardy Clause.

Such double prosecutions have been condoned for years under the longstanding “separate sovereigns” exception, which the Supreme Court declined to overturn today, over dissents from Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch.

The prospect of not being able to bring such double prosecutions had caused some to worry that a ruling for Gamble would help fortify presidential pardons of convicts like ex-Trump campaign head Paul Manafort. That is, that such pardons would prevent state prosecutions against federal convicts like Manafort were Trump to pardon his federal offenses.

It’s unclear what effect a high court ruling for Gamble would have had on those caught up in the Mueller probe and others, legal scholars have pointed out. But that should be a moot concern, now that the justices have ruled against Gamble.

The case is Gamble v. United States, U.S., 17-646, affirmed 6/17/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jordan S. Rubin in Washington at jrubin@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com; Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com